About Me – Who Is Jennifer Poplar?

So… Who is Jennifer Poplar? Well, she’s a 5′-6″ blonde haired, stand-up comedy loving, no-nonsense, straight-to-the point kinda gal that was born and raised in Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia and now lives and works in East Hants.

But those aren’t the details you’re interested in, are they? You want to know HOW I came to be practicing Acupuncture and other alternative therapies, WHERE my unique philosophy and treatment methodologies came from and WHY you should consider me as a trusted member of your health team.

Read on to get your answers…

I was born, like many of us, with less than perfect health that was compounded in my early years by a series of events that both compromised my health AND caused me to question the wisdom of conventional medicine. While conventional Western medicine was extremely good at saving my life, stitching me up and mending my broken bones, it did very little to address the long term chronic conditions that set in as a result of these short term traumatic events.

I won’t bore you with all the sordid details, but I will touch on a few key highlights:

  • I was born premature with underdeveloped lungs and had to spend my first few weeks of life in an incubator.
  • At 12 I had a large birthmark on my back surgically removed that never healed properly and I broke my collarbone in a sledding “incident” that same year.
  • When I was 15 I was in a car accident and broke my back in the EXACT spot of my birthmark scar. I spent several months in the hospital unable to walk and am VERY grateful I regained motor control and the ability to use my legs.
  • At 19 I was in another car accident and ended up with side-to-side whiplash.

All of these events helped create a young woman that, to put it mildly, didn’t feel very good. By my early 20’s I found myself in constant, chronic pain. In particular, I had an unrelenting, burning pain behind my right shoulder blade that, to be blunt, made living miserable. The only thing on offer at my doctor’s office at the time was pain medication, which offered minor, temporary relief while turning me into a medicated zombie….NO THANKS.

So…

I suffered.

Then, when I was 23, somebody (sorry, I can’t remember who it was) suggested I try checking out a chiropractor. I did, and for the first time in my adult life I experienced actual relief from some of the pain I was in.

I went to see a gentleman named Dr. George Ibsen who was in the twilight of his career and practicing just a few hours a week out of his home in Dartmouth. He poked and prodded around my neck and upper back for a moment or two, told me to lay down on my stomach on his table, then turned a heat lamp on over my back and left the room, saying he’d be back in a few minutes. After about 5 minutes of laying there wondering just what type of quackery I had gotten myself into, he came back in the room…

“Move your arm here…OK… And your leg here…OK…”

CRACK!!!!

“Now wrap your arms like you’re giving yourself a bear hug…”

CRACK, CRACKITY CRACK!!!

It went on like this for about ten minutes. All the while I’m wondering if Dr. Ibsen was either some sort of closet contortionist or a masochist trying to break me in two OR possibly some combination of both.

Then, as quickly as it started, he was finished….

“OK, you’re done. Get up slowly in your own time and see how you feel.”

How did I feel????

I felt like I had just experienced some sort of miracle. Like some Oracle of pain relief had come down from the mountains to fix me with his magically enchanted hands.

I couldn’t believe it. I was literally PAIN-FREE. None. Nada. Zilch. I couldn’t remember my body EVER feeling this good.

As amazed as I was, it was just another day at the office for Dr. Ibsen. He assured me he hadn’t performed any miracles, witchcraft or magic and I should probably come back in a week or so for a follow up appointment.

He was right.

In about a week’s time most of the pain had returned and I was ready for another cracking at the hands of the miracle man…. And that about sums up the next ten years of my life…. I’d go for a chiro adjustment and experience profound pain relief. Then the pain would come back, followed by yet another adjustment. The only thing that changed was the length of time I was able to go between adjustments which gradually extended from one week to two. I was never able to get beyond two weeks without experiencing a pain crisis. So, for the next decade, I made a twice monthly visit to Dr. Ibsen’s Chiro Chamber of Wonders for my biweekly tune up and felt things were pretty good.

Then, at the wise old age of 33, something happened that would set the wheels in motion for new learning, new questions and, an eventual complete career change….

I met my partner, Trevor.

Trevor, like me, had a whole host of health issues from an early age. However, when we met, he knew a lot more than me about the various ways to coax your body back to health. More importantly, he had been doing his own experiments combining different treatment modalities to achieve better, longer lasting results than he could get from any individual method used in isolation. Plus, he had experience with a different type of therapy I had never heard of…

On our second date, I found myself asking Trev to crack my back for me. We obviously didn’t know each other very well yet, and he obviously wasn’t a chiropractor. But I had been away on vacation the previous week, missed my regularly scheduled date with miracle man Ibsen and was feeling pretty miserable. He obliged and that opened up a conversation that lasted the rest of the night talking about our health histories.

That night way back in 2005 was the first time I ever heard of an osteopath. Trev explained how he, many years earlier, and in back pain similar to mine had a chance meeting with an old neighbor that changed his life….

One sunny afternoon, circa 1995, Trevor made his regularly scheduled stop at the mailbox on his way home from work and bumped into a lady from the neighborhood he grew up in and had delivered newspapers to as a kid. She had fallen SEVERELY ill when he was a teenager and quite literally couldn’t drive, work or look after her family. When he stepped out of the car and came face to face with her for the first time in 10 years, he couldn’t believe his eyes…

She was glowing with life and easily looked 20 years younger than the last time he saw her a decade earlier! Luckily, she was eager to share her secrets and Trev was even more eager to get them.

After a lengthy impromptu conversation about health and healing, Trev headed home with a name and number for Sarah Hayes pressed into his hand. Back then, Sarah was one of only two osteopath’s working in Nova Scotia (and the only one working on humans) and it was a 2 hour drive to her home in the Valley to see her. But, based on the obvious results he had seen with his old neighbor, Trev made the trek.

And that’s how, in the late summer of 2005, I found myself half skeptical, half curious and 100% hopeful, booking my first my first visit to the valley to see Sarah.

To say that 2 hour drive to the valley was worth it would be like saying winning Lotto 649 would be “kinda neat”… An enormous understatement.

Sarah explained that my recurring back pain was due to a “twist” in my gall bladder and liver that was pulling my back out of adjustment…. My back pain was a SYMPTOM of something else further upstream as opposed to an isolated issue in and of itself.

After my initial round of visits to Sarah, my health had improved substantially and I was now able to enjoy two blissful months of pain free existence between appointments. But just like the chiro before, I had to stick to a strict, albeit less frequent regimen of an osteo treatment every two months in order to keep out of pain. But unlike before, something else had changed…

My mind was opening up to both the way the body works AND how to figure out how to fix it. I now understood that my back pain was a SYMPTOM of my liver and gall bladder issue. If the osteo adjustments didn’t have lasting effects that meant my liver and gall bladder problems were yet ANOTHER SYMPTOM of something else further upstream yet to be diagnosed and dealt with. I became determined to be my own health advocate, figure out the root causes of my health issues and fix them once and for all.

I was consumed with it….

Reading.

Researching.

Being my own guinea pig in a constant supply of experiments.

And… Eventually coming to a deep understanding of how my body worked, how to repair it and how to maintain optimal wellness. Through it all, I did discover the ROOT CAUSE of my back pain (Severe food sensitivities, particularly almonds and tomatoes. Both of which I consumed by the plateful) AND a passion for solving the health mysteries so many of us are faced with.

I also began forming the core philosophies that would underpin what would eventually become Pinpoint Acupuncture Clinic. The two major tenets of that philosophy that form the basis of my practice today are:

  1.  There are 5 health wrecking ways stress sneaks into your body and brain and wreaks havok on all aspects of your health.
    AND…
  2. To achieve optimal wellness, each and every weak point must be identified and addressed through a multi-faceted, multi-modal collaborative approach.

But I’m getting just a little bit ahead of myself…

These core philosophies started out as the underpinnings of my own personal health system. I had no intentions of opening an acupuncture clinic.

Despite all of my health issues, I was having a successful career in the optical world, working for the largest optometry clinics in the province, the largest lens manufacturer in the world, doing all of the pre and post corneal care for Lasik eye surgery patients and teaching other opticians how to ply their trade (not all at the same time of course… I’m not superwoman 🙂 ).

Then, in the course of my ongoing research, I came across something called the Bates Method for vision correction that claimed you could reduce or eliminate your need for glasses through a series of simple yet effective eye training exercises. I was fascinated. So fascinated in fact it spawned a deep study into natural vision correction methods, culminating with me taking a leave from work to study acupuncture at CCATCM and being personally mentored by Dr. Qing Li, a fifth generation Doctor of Chinese Medicine.

My original intentions were, upon graduation to bring my newly acquired skillset back to the optical industry where I would use auricular acupuncture to help people reduce their reliance on their glasses and stop the never ending progression of a 1/4 to 1/2 diopter stronger prescription every trip to the optometrist. However, somewhere along the way during my formal acupuncture training everything started to gel… I realized that my skillset could go far beyond helping people correct their vision (Although I can help you with that too. It’s just not the focus of my practice)…

I could help people shortcut the DECADES of pain, stress, dead-ends, wrong turns and limited success I endured while figuring out the answers to my own health riddles.

So… In 2014 Pinpoint Acupuncture Clinic was born.

At the clinic, my specialty is figuring out the root cause(s) of your unique situation and coming up with the individualized combination of factors that’s going to provide you with lasting relief using a multi-faceted, multi-modality, uniquely tailored approach including Acupuncture, Gua Sha, Cupping Treatments, PEMF, Reflexology, essential oils, dietary and lifestyle adjustments, and outside help from qualified, complimentary professionals.

AND…

I like the Smurfs 😉

If you live anywhere in East Hants or Halifax Regional Municipality including Enfield, Elmsdale, Fall River, Halifax, Bedford and Dartmouth, my clinic is only a hop, skip & jump away so…

Call Jennifer to book your Acupuncture treatment today:
902-209-5137

 

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